The Impact of Multiple Dimensions of Ethnic Identity on Discrimination and Adolescents' Self-Esteem

Andrea J. Romero, Robert E. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

149 Scopus citations


The rejection-identification model is investigated with multiple dimensions of ethnic identity in a sample of Mexican American youth. It is hypothesized that more perceived discrimination will be associated with higher ethnic identity in general, but that the multiple dimensions of ethnic identity will be associated differentially with discrimination. Higher perceived discrimination will be associated with more ethnic exploration and less ethnic affirmation. Self-report questionnaires were completed by middle school students of Mexican descent (N= 881). Based on structural equation modeling, the data were found to fit the rejection-identification model (p < .05). Higher discrimination was associated with lower ethnic affirmation (p < .05) and lower ethnic exploration (p < .05). Post hoc analyses indicated a significant interaction between discrimination and ethnic affirmation (p < .01) such that youth with high ethnic affirmation who experienced high discrimination still reported high self-esteem. The findings are discussed in the context of understanding methods of coping with prejudice and discrimination that will enhance the mental well-being of minority youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2288-2305
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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